Another two chapters today, y’all! We… we want this book to be over.
Sweet Valley Confidential: Chapter 19
Jessica and Elizabeth are so totally cool right now! So cool that Jessica is already overstepping her boundaries like old times.
As promised, Jessica left at the first light of dawn, kissing her sister and borrowing her new suede jacket.
Everything is so back to normal, Jessica’s even borrowing her sister’s clothes without asking! A huge improvement over how this entire book was about Jessica borrowing her sister’s fiance without asking.
Speaking of fiances, guess who Jessica finds waiting for her outside? Todd!
As sometimes happens, in the picosecond before recognition, you see the unvarnished reality. The passing flash for Jessica was of a man, young but not a boy, his face kind and gentle, staring at her.
Then she saw that it was Todd.
Oh, ok! Phew! Can we break down that indecipherable sentence? The one that has “picosecond” and “unvarnished reality” and some Slaughterhouse Five unstuck in time shit, but was basically just “one of the four characters in this book was there”? Because WHY.
Todd and Jessica say “I’m sorry” and “I love you” at the same time, and decide to go home. And thus concluded Todd’s worst trip to Manhattan ever.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth has dinner with Will. She confesses that she did the plan where she brought some hot man candy (not the exact phrasing in this book) to the party to try to cause a rift between Jessica and Todd, and that “it did work and in the most horrible way. Even though it was the opposite of what I expected – Liam was knocked out by my sister and she didn’t even care. That’s what made it horrible; she really is in love, but what I did was enough to ruin everything.” She does NOT say “for about three chapters”, but we apparently don’t need to care about Will for much longer anyway.
Maybe it was just a nice New York experience that people have when they like each other.
Friends with benefits.
She’d always thought that was only a cute joke. She was surprised at how well it fit.
Well. I have a number of questions about this. My first question is “Cute?”, but that’s probably only my first question because personal experience (this is the day I find out if my parents read this blog, I guess); “cute” applies to very little of a friends with benefits situation, which should be kind of obvious.
But more importantly, is this a leap we’re suddenly supposed to make? We’ve spent more time with Elizabeth and Will’s sexual tension than we have with actual characters from Sweet Valley High in this book. Hell, this is the ending of the last scene Elizabeth and Will were in before this one:
Will stirred, opened his eyes. He smiled at her and held her closer.
Elizabeth smiled back and kissed his cheek lightly.
That was enough to rekindle the embers […] They both had some interesting thinking to do.
So we go from THAT to “therefore, friends with benefits”. Apparently. With no discussion of their feelings. I mean, save for the discussion of Elizabeth’s feelings about Jessica. They talked about those feelings, just not about how the two of them banged and haven’t mentioned it at all. Cute!
Sweet Valley Confidential: Chapter 20
Elizabeth’s interview finally comes out, and it is all somehow even more unrealistic than you would expect. The piece – a profile of an off-Broadway playwright whose first play hasn’t premiered yet – is so good that the editor lets it run long, she’s asked to do a follow-up after the show opens, and she gets contacted by Time Out with a freelance offer. Based on a single 1500-word article.
If you think that sounds like bullshit, wait until you hear how absurdly well Will’s doing after a single performance of his one play:
“Universal wants to option it for a movie.”
“And with me writing it. I’ll have to go out to L.A.”
Furthermore, Will’s estranged family came to the premiere! Not just his parents, but also his fiance that he abandoned!
[Elizabeth] felt nothing but joy when she saw the love in his face for Wendy. And Wendy’s face matched his in delight.
Will was wrong. He did love Wendy. […]
[Elizabeth would] start to put her story together. Even before she started, she had her ending: Wendy and Will into the sunset.
Let’s pause for a moment and take in the full absurdity of all of this. Imagine you are reading a magazine about off-Broadway plays, and the longest article in it is a profile of a playwright whose only play hasn’t opened yet. And then in the next issue, you find yet another piece about this same person, who has already been given movie rights and a movie writing gig in Hollywood. And the article ends with a mention of how he got back together with his fiance as a result of his success.
Will and Elizabeth talk about his reunion with Wendy:
“When you and I first met and you asked me about her, I was being honest. I really didn’t think I loved her enough. But when I saw her last night … How can that be?”
“I don’t know. Maybe you just had to get away. From everyone. Even the ones you loved.”
“Maybe it was the same for you.”
Ok, but is this the theme though? I’m still not sure.
The chapter ends with Will and Elizabeth assuring each other they’re good and glad that things worked out. BUT…
But she still wasn’t ready to open Todd’s letter.
Hopefully because she’s over Todd af